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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The amount of trash going into landfills could be cut by 10 percent if Tennessee industries burned more waste wood, a University of Tennessee waste reduction specialist said Friday.

Tom Dolan of UT’s Center for Industrial Services made that estimate after surveying 81 of the 120 Tennessee companies that use wood-fired boilers.

If companies which send wood to landfills donated it instead to firms which use wood-fired boilers, “we could cut at least 10 percent from the amount of waste going into landfills, probably more,” Dolan said. Moreover, the donor firms could earn tax deductions, he said.

Some companies pay to have waste-wood hauled to landfills, some burn scrap-wood on their property, and others buy wood for fuel, he said.

About 60 percent of the trash going to Tennessee landfills is wood-based and burnable, Dolan said.

Tennessee’s wood-fired boilers burn about 2 million tons of wood per year. Wood burns more cleanly than coal, he said.

CIS programs are helping bring together companies which need wood and those which have too much, Dolan said. Since distributing the survey recently, CIS has received about 200 calls about donating or receiving wood for boilers, he said.

“Education, information and awareness are the keys to reducing the amount of wood going into landfills,” Dolan said. “Using waste-wood reduces costs for both the user and supplier, and saves landfill space. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.”

Contact: Tom Dolan (615-532-8657)